I'm not talking about forcing yourself to read, but to read certain books. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes I do have to force myself to finish a book.
Most of the time these books are supposed classics, or deemed important for one reason or another. I almost feel that if I don't read them, I am not as literate as I feel I need to be.
However the fact that I have forced myself to read them, rarely makes them worth it in the end. It's rare that the ending makes up for the work of reading the book, and most of the time I am just glad that it's finally over.
Usually the books I force myself to read are deemed literary classics.
There are a number of classics that I truly love, such as Tom Sawyer, White Fang, and Lord of the Rings. I don't feel I'm forcing myself to finish.
The books that I have a hard time reading seem to have one thing in common, they try to be different, just to be different. They have characters that I would never in a million years see walking down the street, but are there to be different.
I understand that characters have to be different, but in some ways they also have to be done in a way that I can relate to them. Coming up with a new character is like coming up with a new flavor of ice cream. You can combine different types of berries or fruit and chocolate to get new and exciting flavors, but if you suddenly add garlic and onions to the mix, sorry I'm not going to eat that. It's different, but it's too different. I really can't imagine myself eating strawberry-mango-chocolate-garlic and onion flavored ice cream, over a filet mignon. Sorry, it's not happening.
I think this is where most of these literary works lose me. I cannot relate in any way to the thinking or acting of the characters and I end up rolling my eyes at their behavior. These works are meant to expand my thinking, but usually I wonder, "what were they thinking?", when they wrote that.
I had a hard time reading Cat's Cradle, I didn't get the point. I forced myself to read Catch-22, but gave up after a third of the way in, because one of the characters ranted about things I didn't care about, and I got tired of it. I finished Atlas Shrugged, but felt it was waaaaaaay too long.
Are there any books that you have read that were forced because they were "important"?